Every pharmacy does more than sell prescriptions. Even if your business is 90% or more prescription based, boiling that business down to filling a bottle and collecting a co-pay is a gross misrepresentation of the value pharmacists and pharmacy teams bring to their patients.
Every vendor that works in the pharmacy industry knows that a sale isn’t at the core of any pharmacy business. But that knowledge doesn’t always get applied to the products and services available to the pharmacy industry.
The fact is, that even a small clinical pharmacy that doesn’t require inventory management capabilities can benefit from a point-of-sale system that does more than process prescription sales.
The point-of-sale experience is multi-faceted. First and foremost, it should create a positive customer experience. Hassle free and fast while including touch points that add value and create stickiness. (I.e. they keep your customer coming back for more.) Despite the fact that we’re taught not to judge a book by its cover, first impressions are often based on image. Your point-of-sale system is a big part of this. Is the front counter clean? Is your system modern, not only in functionality, but appearance? Taking it a step further, can you move beyond the traditional front counter setup with curbside delivery and home delivery? For outpatient pharmacies, what about Meds-to-Beds? And can you do so in a way that maintains a simple, technology-based checkout process free from paper? Other customer experience considerations at the point-of-sale include customer loyalty programs. Even if you don’t reward on prescription purchases, you can bring in loyalty to promote other products, services, and programs. There are a ton of other customer experience factors, but in a nutshell, your point-of-sale system should help you bring value to every customer interaction.
Second, point-of-sale must be intuitive for your staff. Easy to use, hard to make mistakes, simple to learn. Effective point-of-sale systems should take the guess work out of every interaction. Need a signature? The system prompts. Need to restrict discounting or refunds? That logic should be built in. Want to make sure team members ask for loyalty cards? The system should remind them to ask. Additional prescriptions that didn’t get scanned? You guessed it, your point-of-sale system should tell you. When your team doesn’t have to second guess or focus on every minute detail of the transaction process itself, they can give more focus to your customers to continue cultivating that amazing experience.
Lastly, point-of-sale needs to help keep your pharmacy in compliance. Capturing all the necessary data, reducing or eliminating the potential for errors. Most pharmacy focused point-of-sale systems are going to do this. The difference comes in the ability to customize and tailor the system to your specific requirements. You want flexibility to meet federal, state & organizational requirements. And you want a provider that is agile with their development schedule, so new requests and requirements are addressed in a timely manner. Outside of regulatory requirements, it’s also important to make sure you can easily access transaction information, sales data, employee information, exception reporting, and cash management, to name a few.
No one feature makes or breaks a point-of-sale system. But a bunch of little things, well thought out, and working together make a huge difference in customer experience, employee satisfaction, and pharmacy efficiency.